European Compostnetwork ECN



The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy

ECN Positon Statement on CE, 19 August 2015

With the response on the first public consultation in the EU consultation process on Circular Economy (CE) ECN has submitted a position paper under the title ‘The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy’. Besides the ecological and economic benefits, which go hand in hand with sustainable biowaste management in Europe, the position paper includes specific proposals for updating the existing waste legislation and policy recommendations for further developments in the biowaste sector.

Recycling biodegradable wastes and resource efficiency lie at the heart of the circular economy. According to the ‘Communication on Future Steps in Bio-Waste Management in the European Union’ (COM(2010)235) the EU produces between 118 and 138 million tonnes of bio-waste each year.

To achieve effective biowaste recycling and drive the development in the right direction throughout the EU and its regions, a coherent EU waste legislation framework in junction with consistent economic instruments and funding policies is needed.

Moving towards a more circular economy needs to be accompanied by updating the existing waste legislation in Europe. Therefore, the European Compost Network calls on the EU to:

  • Set an obligation for implementing separate collection of biowaste in the member states as a guiding principle.
  • Establish targets for biowaste recycling (biowaste recycling targets based on separate collection) as a fundamental and result-oriented driver to secure investment in sustainable recycling of biowaste.
  • Develop clear and well-targeted provisions and harmonized calculation methods in order to help Member state administrations and municipalities to develop integrated recycling schemes.
  • Finalise the end-of-waste criteria for compost and digestate, so as to facilitate further developments of European markets for these products.
  • Develop a comprehensive product – resource-based – waste legislation to support the use of secondary materials recycled from organic waste.

The full position paper on ‘The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy’ is available here.

The full response to the public consultation of ECN is available here.


Issue Paper on ‘Mechanical and Biological Treatment’ published

As an outcome of the work of ECN’s working group ‘Integrated Waste Management, chaired by Enzo Favoino (Scuola Agraria del Parco di Monza), an issue paper on ‘Mechanical and Biological Treatment’ was published in August 2015.

The issue paper describes the three main types and their targets for processing waste mechanically:

  • Aerobic stabilisation
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biological drying

The key features of mechanical biological treatment, like reducing waste to be landfilled and to reduce the biodegradability of waste as well as gaining renewable energy through anaerobic digestion or combustion of Refused Derived Fuels (RDF), are part of this integrated waste management approach.

The ECN issue paper ‘Mechanical and Biological Treatment’ is available here.


EU Parliament adopted resolution on ‘Resource efficiency: moving towards a circular economy’

EP Resolution on CE, 9 July 2015

With a vast majority (395 to 197) the Members of the European Parliament adopted the proposals of the EP Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in the plenary on 9 July 2015. This positive vote is a major step forward in the ongoing policy debate and exerts pressure on the Commission to really come up with a ‘more ambitious proposal’ on circular economy and legislative proposals on wastes until the end of this year.

The resolution on ‘Resource efficiency: moving towards a circular economy’ is based on the report of Sirpa Pietikäinen, rapporteur on circular economy of the ENVI Committee, which favours legally-binded targets on waste and resource use. With regard towards zero waste the MEP’s urge the Commission to submit the announced proposal on review of waste legislation by the end of 2015, diligently applying the waste hierarchy, and to include the following points:

  • clear and unambiguous definitions;
  • developing waste prevention measures;
  • setting binding waste reduction targets for municipal, commercial and industrial waste to be achieved by 2025;
  • setting clear minimum standards for extended producer responsibility requirements;
  • applying the ‘pay-as-you-throw-principle’ for residual waste combined with mandatory separate collection schemes for paper, metal, plastic and glass in order to facilitate the high quality of recycling materials;
  • introducing mandatory separate collection for biowaste by 2020;
  • increasing recycling/preparation for reuse targets to at least 70 % of municipal solid waste and 80 % recycling of packaging waste by 2030, based on a solid reporting method preventing the reporting of discarded waste (landfilled or incinerated) as recycled waste, using the same harmonised method for all Member States with externally verified statistics; an obligation for recyclers to report on the ‘input‘ quantities of waste going into the sorting plant as well as on the ‘output‘ quantity of recyclates coming out of the recycling plants;
  • strictly limiting incineration, with or without energy recovery, by 2020, to non-recyclable and non-biodegradable waste;
  • a binding, gradual reduction of all landfilling, implemented in coherence with the requirements for recycling, in three stages (2020, 2025 and 2030), leading to a ban on all landfilling, except for certain hazardous waste and residual waste for which landfilling is the most environmentally sound option;
  • encouraging Member States to introduce charges on landfilling and incineration.

Full adopted text of the European Parliament is available: here.



Report on ‘The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy’ published

EP Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development

As an outcome of the policy debate on ‘the role of biowaste in the emerging circular economy’ the European Parliament’s Intergroup on ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development’ (EP CCBSD) has published a final report.

The topic was initiated and supported by the European Compost Network and more than 100 participants followed the debate. Stakeholders highlighted the key role that biowaste will have in the emerging circular economy and called upon EU decision-makers to support the proper management of biowaste as it will contribute to a more sustainable and resource-efficient Europe.

The related documents of the policy debate (like the ECN position paper on Circular Economy) can be downloaded from the website of the EP Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development: Link to EPCCBSD or the ECN website.







Stakeholder Conference, 25 June 2015

Key messages on CE Conference ‘Closing the Loop' published

As part of the process to develop a more ambitious circular economy package, the European Commission organised a circular economy conference in Brussels on 25 June 2015. The circular economy package due in late 2015 will lay out the opportunities for green growth and build on previous EU resource efficiency and innovation initiatives.

More than 700 participants followed the discussion at the Circular Economy Conference on 25 June in Brussels. The conference consisted of an opening plenary (keynote and panel discussion), a series of break-out sessions addressing specific aspects of the circular economy, and a closing panel with institutional representatives.
It was opened by Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and closed by Vice-President Jyrki Katainen. It included contributions from the Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella.
The key conclusions of the debate will feed into the public consultation on Circular Economy (closing date 20 August) and on waste markets (closing date 4 September). The new package is expected to be adopted by the end of this year.
The presentations from plenary and individual sessions and the key conclusions are available on the website of the European Commission:

The opening and closing speeches can be read here: F. Timmermans, K. Vella, J. Katainen


Successful workshop on ‘The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy’

EP Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development

scale_Foto_dalli_JVH_textOn 24 June 2015 the European Parliament’s Intergroup on ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development’ (EP CCBSD) has organised a policy debate on ‘the role of biowaste in the emerging circular economy’, which is a valuable resource for growth and job creation in Europe.  The topic was initiated and supported by the European Compost Network and more than 100 participants followed the debate. Stakeholders highlighted the key role that biowaste will have in the emerging circular economy and called upon EU decision-makers to support the proper management of biowaste as it will contribute to a more sustainable and resource-efficient Europe.

Miriam Dalli, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Circular Economy Working Group of the EP Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development” chaired this event, which was held at the European Economic and Social Committee.
“Sustainable management of biowaste plays a key role in implementing the circular economy and in achieving a resource-efficient Europe,” said John van Haeff, Chair of European Compost Network. Further, biowaste has an enormous resource potential contributing to healthier soils and renewable energy while creating jobs.
The meeting presented best practices including the benefits of collecting biowaste and the importance of implementing separate collection schemes as well as moving away from large scale landfills. It was also highlighted that Member States have diverging policies and varying levels of implementation calling for better enforcement.
Representatives from the European Commission highlighted that “the value of biowaste as a resource is recognised and improvements must be made towards creating a market for secondary materials in Europe.” Sofie Bouteligier of the Public Waste Agency of Flanders further emphasised “the need for a coherent European framework,” as this would align relevant policies and ensure better management of biowaste.
It was stressed that all stakeholders should participate in the ongoing public consultation on the circular economy launched by the European Commission in May to ensure that all views are considered. It was further called upon the Commission to keep all stakeholders involved throughout the process and implementation of the circular economy framework.

The press release, all presentations and background information (like the ECN position paper on Circular Economy) can be downloaded from the website of the EP Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development: here.logo_ECC




Second Consultation in the Circular Economy debate on EU Waste Markets has been launched

In parallel to the ongoing consultation on Circular Economy, DG Environment has launched a specific consultation focussed on the functioning of waste markets in the EU.

It aims to identify and better understand the nature and the extent of regulatory failures causing distortions to EU waste markets. As an example the regulatory environment may hamper the efficient functioning of waste markets and fail to ensure optimal implementation of the waste hierarchy (according to Article 4(1) of the EU waste framework directive) with possible impact on the "food use" hierarchy.

Stakeholders and citizen are asked to participate actively in this consultation, which will close on 9 September 2015.
Further information is available at the following link:


Circular economy in Europe: towards ‘more ambition’: Circular advice to Brussels


What should the top priority be in Commissioner Frans Timmermans’s circular economy package? The Dutch Waste Management Association (DWMA) put a list of eleven measures to four stakeholder organisations in Brussels and several Dutch waste companies. The key question was 'What do you think the top 3 measures in the new package should be?'

Emmanuel Katakris, secretary general of the European Recycling Industries' Confederation (EuRIC), puts strong market incentives at the top of his list, such as 'a greater focus on designing reusable products' (ecodesign) and an 'active role for government as a launching customer through green procurement'.

Stefanie Siebert (ECN), director of the European Compost Network, reflects the problems facing the composting sector. Besides better implementation of existing rules, Siebert chooses more ambitious recycling targets and harmonised European minimum standards for her top 3. 'The old package, however good, lacked concrete targets for the separate collection of biowaste. If it was up to us, that should be 50%. We must also complete the end-of-waste process for organic waste so that our materials can finally be used as products. The new member states in particular need some leeway to allow them to invest in things like separate collection and quality control. The member states must realise that separate collection and good quality recyclates can be profitable.'

Director Ella Stengler of the Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP) takes a slightly different approach. She fully agrees that material recovery is crucial to a clean circular economy, but at the same time she wants to stress two points: 'First, both industry and consumers will continue to need affordable energy, while energy from non-recyclable waste will allow Europe to become less dependent on fossil fuel from abroad. Modern waste-to-energy plants meet both these requirements.' Second, according to Stengler the old package was based on recycling data reported by member states, which often simply recorded the amount of waste collected for recycling or the input into recycling facilities.'

FEAD Secretary General Nadine de Greef opts for new policies on product design. In addition she also calls for binding 'push' measures, such as clearly harmonised targets and for demand-creating 'pull' measures, such as ecolabelling, compulsory recyclate percentages for selected products and, above all, stimulating 'green' public procurement.

The full article, written by Michel Robles, is available on the website of the Dutch Waste Management Association: Link to article


Henrik Lystad appointed as New Chair of ECN

Foto_chairs_TextThe Annual Meeting 2015 of the European Compost Network took place on the 24 June 2015 in Brussels (BE). The ECN members elected Henrik Lystad, representing the Waste Management Association of Norway (Avfall Norge) and member of the ECN Board since 2011, as chairman for the next election period. John van Haeff, Chair of ECN (2013-2014), stood down from the chairmanship due to new opportunities in his company.

As second Vice-chair Massimo Centemero, representing the Italian Composting Council (CIC) and member of the ECN Board since 2012, was elected by the ECN members. Together with Mait Kriipsalu, representing the Life Science University of Tartu and first Vice-chair of ECN since 2011, the three Board members will lead the European Compost Network for the next work period.
In addition to the chair election and according to the ECN Statutes, 1/3 of the ECN Board members were re-elected: Mrs Irmagrd Leifert, representing the German Compost Quality Assurance Organisation (BGK), Mr Arjen Brinkmann, representing the Dutch Composting Organistaion (BVOR) and Mr Grigor Stoyanov, representing the 100-First Zero Waste and Organic Cycle Organization of Bulgaria, were elected in the ECN Board.
At the next ECN Board meeting in September the ECN Board together with the Executive Director, Stefanie Siebert, will discuss the new work programme of ECN for the up-coming years.


EP Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development

Programme launched: The role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy

On 24 June 2015 a panel-debate on the ‘Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy’ is held by the European Parliament Intergroup on ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development’ in the European Economic and Social Committee. The discussion is co-chaired by the Miriam Dalli (MEP, Chair of the ‘Circular Economy’ Working Group of the Intergroup and by Mark Demesmaeker (MEP, Rapporteur on the ‘Circular Economy’ and ‘Waste Management’ dossiers.

John Van Haeff, Chair of the European Compost Network - ECN, will introduce as key speaker the topic of the policy debate, followed by two presentations from the International Solid waste Association and Zero Waste Europe. High importance will be given to the representatives from the Commission of DG Environment and DG Grow introducing the ‘new and more ambitious approach’ on Circular Economy of the new Commission. Representatives from Member States will report on the successful implementation of Circular Economy and their strategies on biowaste management in their countries. All participants are invited to be actively involved in the panel debate on the important role on biowaste in the future Circular Economy in Europe.

The panel-debate is scheduled from 10:30 to 12:45 on the 24 June 2015 in the European Economic and Social Committee, Rue deTreves, Brussels.

The agenda for the policy debate is available here.

Registration for the policy debate here.


EU Commission: Public Consultation on Circular Economy

The EU Commission has launched the 'Public Consultation on Circular Economy' on 28 May 2015. Deadline for submission is 20 August 2015.

This consultation is part of 'the new and more ambitious proposal on Circular Economy' which the Commission intends to publish until the end of this year. It is embedded in the previous consultation on the review of EU Waste targets, which took place in 2013, and the upcoming separate consultation on waste markets distortions (will be launched shortly). With the now published consultation on Circular Economy the EU Commission is assessing support for binding rules on product design including the development of standards for voluntary use, or reviewing rules on legal and commercial guarantees on products. Respondents are asked which product characteristics future measures should focus on, with options ranging from repairability and reusability, to biodegradability and resource use, including water consumption in the use phase.

If you are interested to take part in the consultation, please follow the link:


Study Tour on Effective Food-Waste Recycling

Italian Compost and Biogas Association (CIC), 22-24 September, Milan (IT)

The study tour is intended to give MSW management experts and managers an overview of current best-practices and approaches in foodwaste separate collection and recycling. The tour will start on the 1st day by visiting the solutions applied in Milan, currently Europe’s largest Cities with a full implementation of separate collection for foodwaste from households. A second specific visit will be done, so to understand the differences in managing foodwaste in apartment blocks and in semidetached housing structures.
Furthermore 2 biological treatment plants will be visited, both with low-tech and high-tech solutions for composting and anaerobic digestion, accepting foodwaste collected with compostable bioplastic liners and bags.

The Workshop with CIC on the 2nd day will focus on efficient operational solutions, effective instruments and tools supplied to households in high-rise areas to enhance collection of foodwaste. The standard technologies to recover biowaste into compost and biogas will be discussed, including the details about how to management compostable bioplastic bags.

Participants will also have the opportunity to visit EXPO2015 on the 24 September, the Universal Exhibition that Milan hosts until October; EXPO2015 is a global showcase where more than 140 participating countries will show the best of their technology that offers a concrete answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the Planet and its equilibrium.

For registration, please follow the link.

Update on Composting in Italy
The Italian Composting and Biogas Association CIC has published an article in the current edition RENEWABLE MATTER about the organic waste management situation in Italy.

If you are interested in this article, please follow this link.


The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Economy

EP Policy Debate, 24 June 2015, Brussels

The European Parliament Intergroup on 'Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development' is organising a conference-debate 'The Role of Biowaste in the Emerging Circular Ecomony'  from 10:30 until 13:30 h on the 24 June 2015 in Brussels.

Moving towards a circular economy and a resource efficient society will be the future for Europe, but this means that additional legislative initiatives are necessary. There is a need for a more comprehensive resource-efficient waste and product policy. With the publication of the European Commission’s roadmap ‘Circular Economy Strategy’ the Commission has announced to come up with a ‘new and more ambitious proposal’ on the waste review.
Biowaste plays a key role in sustainable waste management. Biowaste accounts for the largest fraction (40%) in municipal solid waste. Only 30% of biowaste across Europe is collected separately and recycled in a sustainable way by composting and anaerobic digestion.
With new waste legislation more than 50 million tonnes of biowaste could be recycled, which will result in the creation of 100,000 new jobs.

Against this background, this event will offer the opportunity for key decision-makers and stakeholders to discuss the importance of separate collection and recycling targets for biowaste as well as setting end-of-waste criteria for compost and digestate to establish a level playing field for the sustainable use and marketing of these recycled materials in Europe.

Registration is now open
For participation in the European Parliament event you have to register following the registration link.

On behalf of the European Compost Network we welcome your presence in the European Parliament and look forward for your active participation.


Closing the Loop – Circular Economy: boosting business, reducing waste

EU Stakeholder Conference, 25 June 2015, Brussels

As announced in the 2015 European Commission Work Programme, a new and more ambitious Circular Economy Package will be presented before the end of 2015. The package will lay out the green growth opportunities and build on the previous EU resource efficiency and innovation initiatives. To support the public consultation in collecting the views of stakeholders on the main policy options and measures explored for this initiative, the Commission is organizing a Circular Economy Conference on 25 June 2015 in Brussels.

You are invited to participate in this conference, which is open to all stakeholders wishing to contribute to shaping European economic policy making. The conference will consist of an opening plenary (keynote and panel discussion); a series of break-out sessions addressing specific aspects of the circular economy; and a closing panel with institutional representatives. It will be opened by FVP Frans Timmermans; closed by VP Jyrki Katainen; and will include contributions from Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Karmenu Vella.

What is the registration process?
Please note that attendance is free, but registration is required.
More details are available on the Registration Website.


Roadmap on Circular Economy published

EU Commission

After the withdwrawal of the legislative proposal for the review of waste legislation the new Commission has now published the 'Roadmap on Circular Economy'. With this initiative the Commission aims to reinforce a new and more ambitious proposal to promote Circular Economy. The 'Roadmap on Circular Economy' is available here.

The roadmap includes two main reasons for the withdrawal of the waste legislative proposal from 2014:

'Firstly, the overall approach presented in July 2014 had a rather exclusive focus on waste management, without appropriately exploring synergies with other policies - clear examples of such policies are product policies or the development of well-functioning markets for secondary raw materials. It is therefore important to step up the ambition by looking more concretely at waste management on the one hand, and related key aspects of the value chain, which are essential in order to "close the loop" of the circular economy, on the other hand.

Secondly, as far as the waste proposal is concerned, the Commission will examine, in particular, how to make this proposal more country specific, and how to improve the implementation of waste policy on the ground. To that effect, the Commission will look more closely in particular into existing problems of non-compliance which is essential to ensure effective implementation.'

A public consultation on the new initiative is expected to be opened end of May. This consultation period will be accompanied with consultation conferences. The first stakeholder conference is scheduled for the 25 June 2015 in Brussels. More details are available on the Registration Website.


The Austrian Compost Quality Assurance Organisation (Kompostgüteverband Österreich – KGVOE) is now certified to the European Quality Assurance Scheme for Compost and Digestate


The Austrian Compost Quality Assurance Organisation ‘KGVOE’ has become the fourth European Quality Assurance Organisation to be awarded with the conformity label of the European Compost Network’s Quality Assurance Scheme for Compost and Digestate (ECN-QAS). With this conformity label ‘KGVOE’ is now entitled to award the European quality label for compost to the participating composting plants.

KGVOE was founded in 1994 as quality assurance organisation to promote the production of high quality compost products in Austria and represents municipal and private compost plants treating approx. 150.000 Mg bio-waste per year.
Detailed information about the quality assurance scheme of KGVOE is included in the presentation of KGVOE. The website of KGVOE can be visited here and a brochure of KGVOE (German version) can be seen here.

read more....


EU Public Consultation on LULUCF

Consultation on the integration of agriculture, forestry and other land use into the 2030 EU climate and energy policy framework

At the end of March the Commission (DG CLIMA) has launched two public consultations on the preparation of a legislative proposal on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the European Union's greenhouse gas emission reduction commitment in a 2030 perspective; addressing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and LULUCF in the context of the 2030 EU climate and energy framework.The consultation on agriculture and LULUCF contains some provisions on soils and land use which might be interesting for the bio-waste sector. This consultation gives you the possibility of sharing your views with the Commission.

The online-consultation on ‘addressing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and LULUCF’ is available here and is open until 18 June 2015.


Live Panel Debate on Circular Economy

EU Policy

On 16 April 2015 a live panel discussion on ‘How can Europe capitalise on the circular economy?’ was held. The panel debate was moderated by the journalists Sonja van Renssen discussing with Karl Falkenberg (General Director of DG Environment), Jan Gerbrandy (Member of the European Parliament - ALDE Group and Shadow rapporteur on the Waste Management Directive) and Andy Doran (representing the European Aluminium Association as Senior Manager – Sustainability and Recycling Development of Novelis Europe) the role and impact of Circular Economy in Europe.

All panellists stressed the importance on implementing Circular Economy throughout Europe. Based on the reactions the Commission has received on the withdrawal of the waste legislative proposal Karl Falkenberg explained that the Commission is still working on a ‘new and more ambitious proposal’. The development of the new proposal foresees a broad stakeholder consultation, which will take place before the summer break. High quality recycling based on separate collected waste streams (glass, paper, metal, plastics and bio-waste) will play an important role in the future waste and product policy of the Commission. The concept of end-of-waste has to be followed up.

The complete debate can be watched as video stream published by ‘vieuws’ the European Daily Broadcaster. Highlights of the debate are summarised in a short version.


Towards an EU Circular Economy

The contribution of recyclers to job creation and sustainable growth

The European Recycling Industries' Confederation (EuRIC) organised a conference-debate 'Towards an EU Circular Economy', chaired by Mr Karl-Heinz Florenz, Member of the European Parliament, and hosted by the European Economic & Social Committee (EESC) on the 24 March 2015 in Brussels.
The conference-debate provided a timely opportunity for all stakeholders to highlight the importance of an ambitious new circular economy package.
On behalf of the European Commission Mr Karl Falkenberg, Director General of DG Environment, stated that a more ambitious proposal entails focusing on a list of achievable targets that are aligned with jobs and growth agenda. He highlighted that an important component is implementing separate collection for the five waste streams paper, metal, plastic, glass and organic waste. The new proposal is expected for early autumn.

The summary report of the conference-debate and the presentation of the newly-created umbrella organisation for the recycling industries in Europe, given by the Mr Dominique Maguin, President of EuRIC are available here.



Organic Waste in Circular Economy

More than 350 leading experts and decision makers in the field of phosphorus management followed the invitation by the German Phosphorus Platform and the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform to join the second European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC2015) on the 5-6 March 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The European Compost Network organised and chaired a successful round table on ‘Nutrient recycling in compost and digestate'.

  • The summary of the conclusions on nutrient recycling in compost and digestate is available here.
  • The poster presentation that was given additionally by ECN can be downloaded here.
  • Further Information on ESPC2015: here.

VHE / ahu Study

Calculation of Contaminant Accumulation in Soil Due to Long Term Compost Application

A recent study published by the German humus association, VHE, modelled the accumulation of compost contaminants in soils. The research was carried out by Dr Silvia Lazar and Dr Silke Höke of ahu AG in Germany, who used a mathematical approach to estimate contaminant concentration build up in soils by taking into account the mineral fraction of compost.

An English version of the German study has been published by ECN and is available here.

ECN has also published a Press Release on this topic which can be downloaded here.


Flemish Quality Assurance Organisation for Compost and Digestate Vlaco certified to new European Quality Assurance Scheme for Compost and Digestate

PRESS RELEASE, February 2015

Award of the certificate to Vlaco (J,Van Haeff (Chair of ECN), K. Vandenbroek (Vlaco vzw), S. Siebert (ECN-Quality Manager) l.-r.)The Flemish Quality Assurance Organisation for Compost and Digestate ‘Vlaco’ has become the first European Quality Assurance Organisation to pass the European Compost Network’s updated Quality Assurance Scheme for Compost and Digestate (ECN-QAS). With this conformity label 'Vlaco’ is now entitled to award the European quality label for compost and digestate to the participating composting and digestion plants.
With the publication of the European Compost Network’s (ECN) ECN Quality Manual ‘ECN-QAS - European Quality Assurance Scheme for Compost and Digestate’ in October 2014, the ECN laid down harmonised requirements for national certification bodies and quality criteria for recycled materials from organic resources. The aim is to facilitate the free cross-border movement of composts and digestate made out of recycled bio-wastes within the EU.
Following this successful conformity assessment to the ECN-QAS, Vlaco is leading the way towards a harmonised market for compost and digestate across Europe.

The full press release can be downloaded here.


Business, municipalities & NGOs against withdrawal of circular economy

Together with 13 European organisations from business, communities and the environment the European Compost Network has signed a joint statement urging Members of the European Parliament to adopt a strong resolution against the withdrawal and retabling of the Circular Economy proposal.

In December 2014, the Commission announced it was planning to withdraw the proposal, which would see the obligation of separate collection of bio-waste, higher recycling rates across Europe and reductions to the level of waste sent to landfill. It said it would retable a new version by the end of the year.

In the statement, the signatories say that a withdrawal of the proposal "could lead to unnecessary
and harmful regulatory uncertainty, a waste of the EU institutions’ resources and, above all, a delay in the actions and investments required by private and public entities."

The full statement can be accessed here.


European Commission Proposal on Circular Economy Can Create 100,000 Jobs in Biowaste Industry

PRESS RELEASE, 12 December 2014

In July 2014, the European Commission published a strategy on Circular Economy. Included in this package is a proposal for the revision of the Waste Framework Directive. It suggests setting targets for the recycling of municipal waste to 70 % by 2030 and that Member States shall implement separate collection of biowaste by 2025.

The European Compost Network (ECN) strongly endorses this proposal and calls on the new Commission to proceed with this proposal.

Stefanie Siebert, Executive Director of ECN said “The biowaste industry is already ensuring that parts of the organic resources are recycled into compost, biogas and digestate, to the benefit of sustainable agriculture and soil management, climate, reduction of primary resource consumption and the environment. The sector already has created around 50.000 jobs and processes 24 million tonnes of biowaste. To further develop the sector and encouraging MSs which are still at the very beginning on the route towards the ‘Recycling Society’ clear political signals and binding long term commitments are needed. This has the potential of recycling additional 50 million tonnes and the creation of 100.000 jobs at least and at local level. The European Compost Network therefore strongly supports that the revision of the Waste Framework Directive is completed.”

Link to Press release 'EU Circular Economy Package 12/12/2014'

Letter to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker


BIOGAS 24th International Convention and Trade Fair, 27th – 29th January 2015, Fair and Congress Center Bremen, Germany

The world's biggest gathering of the biogas industry takes place from 27-29 January 2015 in Bremen, Germany.

After the new developments in Germany in 2014 there will be lots of questions about the future of biogas on the agenda at the 24th Annual Conference, such as: What role will the use of biogas play in the future? What points should be taken into account in repowering and plant extensions? How can we make sure that our biogas plants are safe? What are the potentials and opportunities for the anaerobic digestion of residues and wastes? What are the developments on international biogas markets? Please find the details of the programm as of November here:
The trade fair parallel to the conference shows the latest biogas trends and offers sound advice from plant manufacturers, planners and service providers. Already 270 exhibitors have applied and the organizer, the German Biogas Association expects a final number of up to 350 exhibitors on more than 12.000 m². The program for the annual conference with over 35 plenary sessions will be released in the first week of November 2014. Various sessions will be translated simultaneously into English or will be held in English.
For more information please visit:

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